Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Two letters to family members from Rev. Charles D. Herbert. An 1848 letter to his mother is datelined Harmony Mission, and completed in Warsaw, MO where the writer went to preach at a funeral. The other is an 1846 letter to sister Charlotte in Ellsworth, Maine, from Parkville [Platte County] MO. In this letter he includes a copy of his letter to a Mrs. Morgan in Hartford, CT with description of religious work in the west.

Highlights and excerpts:

1848 Harmony Mission; Warsaw, Mo - "You ask about the name Osage. The Indians pronounce it Wa-Sha-She...The Harmony Mission was abandoned in 1837 at the time the Indians were pressed to go beyond the bounds of the state. They were always rather wild & untamable & the liquor of the whites & the influences of the Govt agents was always vs. the Missions. Those who made farms were obliged always to support the whole tribe while their corn lasted & then go & hunt in their turn & so it was rather discouraging."

"The Christians here do no know much about Christ...They are so cold & lifeless. If they can have one great 'big meeting' as they can it...& make a great noise once a year they can sleep all the year after..."

1846 Parkville, Mo - Thanks Mrs. Morgan and ladies of Hartford, CT for the donation box which was passed out at a St. Louis gathering. He describes the hardships endured by the missionary families and their great need....ague, open cabins, long rides on the prairie. He comments on the ignorance in some communities who, "admire an ignorant ranting preacher" who advocates intemperance.

"There is a little band of brethren here on this utmost border of the state of Mo. in the Platte Purchase lately made of the Indians. I sometimes tell my friends not to look for one location in 'the far west." the midst of the 'great west'; but beyond....where we may see the fires & hear the wild voices of the red man on the opposite shore...In this new country there is much to be done."
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